Voters asked Kampong Cham delegates Friday about their election strategies for
winning, the prevention of "dictatorship" and upgrades of the living
standards in Cambodia's
most populous province.
The Sam Rainsy, Human Rights, Khmer Democratic, League for
Democracy and Hang Dara Democratic Movement parties each addressed concerns
from voters and questions from a moderator in a province with 18 National
Assembly seats at stake.
Around 1,800 people, including party activists and
individual voters, attended the debate, which was held by the National
Democratic Institute and will be later televised on TVK. Friday's debate was
the last televised debate held by the institute.
"It is very important for me to listen to the political
party message, before I decide to vote," said Nov Sophal, a 40-year-old
villager who lived nearby in O'Rang Oev district. "So the debate is not only good for me, but for
all the voters in the area."
Party candidates promised their would-be constituents
strategies for fighting corruption and decreasing the price of goods in the
province, as well as agricultural promotion, establishing more jobs and
providing free healthcare to villagers.
SRP candidate Mao Monyvann said his party's election
strategy relied on campaigning from the grassroots to the national level. The
party was campaigning on fighting corruption and inflation and job
creation, he said.
Human Rights Party President Kem Sokha told participants
that his party's strategy was the promotion of agriculture for farmers and a
two-term limit for party president, to fight corruption, partisanship and a
"dictatorship" within the party.
NDI senior adviser Thomas Andrews called forums and open
debates such as this "an important ingredient to the creation of a strong
and vital democracy."
"We can find our real leader through debate, but I keep
it in my mind," Buth Saroeun, a 55-year-old villager, said. "Today, I
gave up my farm work to join the debate to understand what the parties are
saying before the election."